“The trick to becoming someone else isn’t selling it to others. Most people don’t look too closely. The trick is selling it to yourself.”
Those are words spoken by Charlie Hardie. Well, the other Charlie Hardie.
Over the past 8 years, Hardie has been through a lot. After giving up the cop-life and becoming a house sitter in California, Hardie had his first encounter with The Cabal (or The Accident People or Secret America). Since then, he’s been beaten up, murdered (and un-murdered), tossed in a maximum security underground prison and finally, shot into space. Yes, you read that right. This time around, Hardie is forced to confront his most unexpected foe yet – himself.
You see, Hardie isn’t nicknamed Unkillable Chuck because it’s cute. Charlie is seemingly unable to die. Throughout the first two books, Hardie appears to be just a guy with a string of good luck that barely makes it through deadly situation after deadly situation. In Point & Shoot, Swierczynski maps out a bit of a back story showcasing just how Hardie can repeatedly avoid the grave. Swierczynski’s reasoning was definitely needed given the sheer amount of punishment he’s subjected Hardie to this time around. I’m not even sure Wolverine could walk away from this beating – both physically and mentally.
Taking nothing away from Fun & Games or Hell & Gone but Point & Shoot takes the cake in this series. Considering that franchises – be they books, movies or television – can start to show signs of wear and tear as they get older, it’s not often that they can only get stronger. Whether it’s the characters that he’s created over three books and their interactions with one another or the insane situations Charlie Hardie has to get out of, Swierczynski has developed one of the most entertaining series out there.
Like its predecessors, Point and Shoot shares the same frenetic action and abrasive dialogue that we’ve come to know and love with this series. However, that’s not unusual when it comes to Swierczynski. His previous novels Severance Package and The Blonde, just to name a few, are both high octane reads that barely give you enough time to catch your breath between action sequences.
It’s sad to know that we’ve seen the last of Charlie Hardie but with a writer as talented as Swierczynski, I’m sure he’s got other stories swimming around in his head. I doubt we’ll have to wait long before he throws another great novel or character our way.